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The 2023 Ryder Cup U.S. Team’s Captain’s Picks and Betting Insights

The Ryder Cup, a biennial competition that has captivated the golfing world 1927, is a spectacle unlike any other in the sport. In 2023, all eyes are on the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, where Europe and the United States will once again clash in a contest of skill, strategy, and national pride.

Now that the U.S. team’s captain, Zach Johnson, has revealed his six picks for the tournament, it is possible to start analysing the field and planning your bets. Here we will examine each of these picks in detail, look at their individual strengths, weaknesses, and potential contributions to the team, and then look at how you can incorporate this knowledge into your betting strategy.

The Six Captain’s Picks

In the realm of Ryder Cup competition, the captain’s picks often serve as the linchpin for a team’s success or downfall. While the automatic qualifiers earn their places through consistent performance, it’s the captain’s discretionary choices that provide the flexibility to address team weaknesses, capitalise on current form, or add much-needed experience to the roster. Zach Johnson’s selection of six players, a blend of Ryder Cup newcomers and seasoned veterans, adds layers of intrigue and strategy to the U.S. line-up. These picks not only offer a rich tapestry of skills but also bring a dynamic that can be the difference between victory and defeat. Therefore, understanding the rationale behind these choices is crucial for anyone keen on following the tournament closely or placing well-informed bets.

Sam Burns

At 27, Sam Burns is one of the fresh faces making his Ryder Cup debut this year. Ranked 21st in the world, Burns has been on a somewhat mixed run recently. Since his remarkable victory at the WGC-Dell Match Play in March, he has managed just two top-10 finishes, one being a T-9 at East Lake. While his season statistics reveal struggles on the approach, ranking outside the top 100, he excels in putting, securing a notable 11th position. His overall strokes gained total is impressive as well, standing at 30th. Burns is poised to become a future staple on Ryder Cup squads and could be an ideal foursomes partner for automatic qualifier Scottie Scheffler. His inclusion by Captain Johnson hints at a long-term vision and an immediate strategy focused on specific match formats.

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler, now 34, brings a wealth of experience to the table with four Ryder Cups already under his belt. Currently ranked 25th in the world, Fowler has made a resurgent comeback this summer. His win at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and a tied-for-fifth finish at the U.S. Open have propelled him back into Ryder Cup contention for the first time since 2018. Statistically, he stands strong with a ninth position in strokes gained approach this season and performs well in all four individual strokes-gained categories. Despite an individual Ryder Cup record that doesn’t particularly dazzle, his presence in the team room is considered a significant asset. Fowler’s experience and recent form make him a versatile tool in Captain Johnson’s tactical arsenal.

Brooks Koepka

At 33, Brooks Koepka is no stranger to the pressures and privileges of representing the United States in the Ryder Cup. With a world ranking of 14, Koepka’s selection did raise some eyebrows, especially after being edged out of automatic qualification by Xander Schauffele. However, his season, highlighted by a win at this year’s PGA Championship and a T-2 finish at the Masters, speaks volumes about his capabilities. His Ryder Cup record is solid, boasting 6 wins, 5 losses, and a draw across three appearances. Particularly notable is his fearlessness in away Ryder Cups, a quality that Captain Johnson evidently values. Koepka’s swagger and robust track record make him a formidable asset, particularly in high-pressure situations.

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa, aged 26 and ranked 19th in the world, is one of the younger talents in the U.S. team. Despite this being only his second Ryder Cup appearance, his debut performance at Whistling Straits was nothing short of spectacular, with a 3-0-1 record. Although he didn’t have his best season by his own high standards, he still managed strong finishes, including a playoff spot in Detroit and top-25s in all three playoff events. As one of the Tour’s best iron players, Morikawa ranks second in strokes gained approach this season. While his short game and putting may face scrutiny in Rome, his exceptional iron play can’t be ignored. He represents the perfect blend of youth and experience, making him a player to watch closely in this year’s competition.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth, 30 years old and ranked 12th in the world, is no novice when it comes to the Ryder Cup stage. With four appearances to his name, Spieth brings a wealth of experience that is indispensable to the U.S. team. Although his recent form has been somewhat inconsistent, with just two top-10s since his playoff loss at the RBC Heritage, his overall Ryder Cup record stands at a respectable 8-7-3. Where Spieth truly shines is in team play, particularly in foursomes and four-ball formats. While his singles match record may be a point of concern, his experience and team play contributions make him a valuable asset that Captain Johnson couldn’t overlook.

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas, also 30 and ranked 26th globally, has had a season of highs and lows. Despite missing out on the FedExCup Playoffs, Thomas’ fighting spirit and proven Ryder Cup record made him a compelling choice for Captain Johnson. With two Ryder Cups under his belt, Thomas boasts an impressive 6-2-1 record, including strong performances in both foursomes and singles matches. Even if he’s not in peak form coming into the tournament, Ryder Cup competitions have a way of bringing out the best in him. His ability to form a strong pairing with Spieth also adds an extra layer of tactical depth for the U.S. team.

Betting Strategies for the U.S. Team

When it comes to Ryder Cup betting, the options are as varied as the shots you’ll see on the course. From outright winners and top scorers to individual match bets, the market is rife with opportunities for both seasoned punters and newcomers. Betting on golf is not just about picking the winner; it’s an intricate game of analysing form, understanding player dynamics, and even considering the course layout. And let’s not forget, the Ryder Cup offers unique betting formats, given its team-based nature. So, whether you’re looking to place a wager on the overall outcome or drill down into the nitty-gritty of player performance, knowing your options is the first step in crafting a sound betting strategy.

Team Betting Strategies

When it comes to betting on the U.S. Ryder Cup team as a whole, it’s crucial to consider multiple variables. Team chemistry, the blend of rookies and veterans, and even the leadership style of the captain can significantly influence the team’s performance. For instance, Captain Johnson’s mix of new talent and seasoned players offers a versatile playing style that could prove advantageous in various match formats. Bettors should also consider the venue; playing in Rome might present unique challenges and advantages. The sum total of these factors can provide insightful directional cues for team-based bets like outright winners or session winners.

Individual Player Bets

If you’re inclined to place wagers on individual performances, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each player is essential. The profiles of the captain’s picks, as discussed earlier, offer rich data points for such bets. For example, Sam Burns’ proficiency in putting could make him a strong bet for top scorer in foursomes, where putting is often the deciding factor. Similarly, Brooks Koepka’s fearlessness in away games could make him a solid bet for top U.S. player. Each player’s form, Ryder Cup history, and specific skills provide a fertile ground for numerous betting possibilities, such as top scorer, top rookie, or even match-specific bets.

Risks and Rewards

While the allure of Ryder Cup betting is undeniable, it’s important to approach it with a balanced mind-set. The tournament is as unpredictable as it is exciting, and even the most well informed bets can go awry. For instance, a last-minute injury to a key player like Justin Thomas or an unexpected change in weather conditions can dramatically alter the dynamics. However, the flip side of this risk is the potential for high rewards. The very unpredictability that makes the Ryder Cup a risky betting proposition also provides opportunities for substantial gains. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a first-timer, managing your expectations and setting a responsible betting budget are paramount. A well-thought-out strategy, bolstered by in-depth player and team analysis, can go a long way in mitigating risks and enhancing your chances of a successful wager.

Explore the Odds and Markets at ZetBet

As the 2023 Ryder Cup fast approaches, the excitement is palpable, both on the fairways and in the world of sports betting. Armed with the above knowledge, you’re now well-positioned to make informed bets that not only heighten the thrill of watching world-class golf but also offer the chance for financial gain. So why not head over to the ZetBet Sportsbook, explore markets with extremely competitive odds, and see if you can place your winning bets today.


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